Iolani Palace, Honolulu

One of the many highlights of our recent Hawaiian cruise was our visit (just the two of us, undertaken after we returned from an excursion to Pearl Harbor) to Iolani Palace in Honolulu, on the island of Oahu.
Iolani Palace was built in 1882 by King Kalakaua, the last king of Hawaii. It was home to him and his wife, Queen Kapiolani, the granddaughter of King Kaumualii of Kauai. Upon his death it was also the royal residence of his sister, the last queen, Liliuokalani.
The lovely Robin and I were guided, using a small player and a pair of headphones, through the large rooms of the palace, which boasted electric lights before the White House and Windsor Castle.
The throne room, above, is the site of many grand occasions--and also, tragically and shamefully, the "trial" of Queen Liliuokalani by the "provisional government" that ousted her in 1893.
The palace has been meticulously restored, featuring original palace furnishings and artifacts that have been recovered, restored, and replicated. Open to the public for guided tours, the first floor consists of the public reception areas: the Grand Hall, State Dining Room, Blue Room, and Throne Room, while the second floor showcases the private suites, including the king's suite (above), the queen’s suites, and music room.
One of the more affecting rooms in the palace was the second floor bedroom that became Liliuokalani's prison after her "trial." While there, she created the crazy quilt, above, which is stitched with the dates of her accession, imprisonment, and abdication. Such a sad story.

The palace was registered as a National Historic Landmark in 1962. It is the only official royal residence in the United States. It is located at the corner of King St. and Richard St. in downtown Honolulu. It is open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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